UNCSA alumni worked on Best Picture Oscar nominees

Alumni of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts worked on some of the top films released in 2017, as evidenced by Academy Award (Oscar) nominations and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Alumni of the School of Drama and the School of Filmmaking worked on three best picture Oscar nominees and a best animated feature nominee announced on Tuesday, and two alumni worked on projects that received SAG Awards, announced Sunday.

Drama alumnus Lucas Hedges appeared in two films nominated for Best Picture Academy Awards – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “Lady Bird.” On Sunday, he won a Screen Actors Guild Award as a member of the Best Ensemble cast of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” 

Lucas Hedges in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Lucas Hedges with Frances McDormand In "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Stephen McKinley Henderson (Drama 72) also appeared in “Lady Bird,” which is nominated for five Academy Awards.

Natalia Cordova-Buckley (Drama high school 01) voiced the character of Frida Kahlo in “Coco” which is nominated for Best Animated Feature Oscar.

Austin Elliot (Film 15) was a production assistant for “Dunkirk,” another Oscar Best Picture nominee.

At Sunday’s SAG Awards, which recognize achievement in both film and television, NBC’s “This is Us” won the Best Ensemble Award for a television drama. Tiffany Little Canfield (Drama 00) was casting director for the show and was recognized by lead actor Milo Ventimiglia who accepted the award on behalf of the cast. Canfield also is on the casting team for “The Greatest Showman,” which is nominated for one Oscar and won one of three Golden Globes for which it was nominated.

The Oscar nominations and SAG awards come on the heels of the Golden Globe Awards, where alumni were cast in three of the best picture winners, as announced earlier this month.  

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is nominated for a total of seven Oscars. It won three SAG Awards and four Golden Globes.

“Lady Bird” is nominated for five Oscars. It was nominated for three SAG Awards, and won two of the four Golden Globes for which it was nominated.

“Dunkirk” is nominated for eight Oscars. It was nominated for one SAG Award and three Golden Globes.


Natalia Cordova-Buckley voiced the character of Frida Kahlo in "Coco."

“Coco” is nominated for two Oscars. It won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Motion Picture.

UNCSA alumni have connections to other Oscar nominated films, including “Mudbound” with four nominations; “I Tonya” with three nominations; and “The Disaster Artist,” with one nomination.

The 90th Oscars will air live on ABC on Sunday, March 4.

by Lauren Whitaker

January 24, 2018